UC Backs Mental Health Rally

Demonstration Will Be Held at 2 p.m. Friday

Undergraduate Council President Tara Raghuveer ‘14 urged UC representatives to attend a student-organized rally demanding that the administration take action on mental health in an email sent over the Council’s mailing list early Friday morning.

“As advocates for students, we need to be there to express our support for our peers,” she wrote. “This is an incredibly important moment for our community.”

The rally is scheduled to take place just one day after an anonymous Crimson op-ed written by a Harvard undergraduate with schizophrenia sparked conversations about mental health across campus and attracted attention on social media websites. According to the email and various online postings, the demonstration is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Friday outside of Massachusetts Hall—home to the offices of senior Harvard officials including University President Drew G. Faust.

The organizers of the event are unknown, but a commenter on The Crimson’s website appears to have nudged the call to action.

“Enough is enough, how many ‘I Am Fine’s, anonymous op-eds, mental health exposes, and suicides is it going to take before we, the students, demand action?” the commenter asked. “Why isn’t the UC holding demonstrations outside Mass Hall? Why aren’t we all?”

“Let’s demand that the admin address students’ mental health needs. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, house email lists. We can demand change,” the comment continued.

An apparently different commenter responded on the discussion forum urging students to rally support.

“[W]e’ve asked politely, for years, in our panels, discussions, op-eds, spoken word performances, student advocacy groups, and nothing has happened. It’s time to ask in person,” the post read.

In addition to the rally, some UC representatives planned to meet with University Health Services spokesperson Lindsey Baker Friday morning to discuss the op-ed and mental health resources at Harvard, according to emails sent over the UC mailing list.

—Staff writer Quinn D. Hatoff can be reached at quinnhatoff@college.harvard.edu. Follow him on Twitter @QuinnHatoff.

—Check thecrimson.com for updates.

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